The '''Church of Scotland''' (, ), known informally by its Scots language name, '''the Kirk''', is the national Christian Church|church
. It is Protestant
. Its longstanding decision to respect "liberty of opinion on matters not affecting the substance of the faith" means it is relatively tolerant of a variety of theological positions, including those who would term themselves conservative and liberal in their doctrine, ethics and interpretation of Scripture. Though it is legally the national church, it is not a State religion|state church
in the sense of being under the control of the state.
The Church of Scotland traces its roots back to the Christianity in Medieval Scotland|beginnings of Christianity in Scotland
, but its identity is principally shaped by the Reformation of 1560. As of December 2013, its pledged membership is 398,389,
or about 7.5% of the Demography of...